A sharp turn of foot took All Silent to the front and on to victory Nov. 8 in the $1-million Emirates Stakes (Aus-I) at one mile at Flemington in Australia.
The Emirates was run on the fourth and final day of the VRC Flemington Melbourne Cup carnival, which attracted about 397,000 patrons in total, officials said.
All Silent, by Belong to Me, sprinted so quickly he went from seventh to first and three lengths clear in the Emirates. “Wow, what a turn of foot this horse has,” said jockey Dwayne Dunn after the race, which produced his first Melbourne Cup carnival group I win.
Graeme Begg, the horse’s trainer, hugged and kissed his teary-eyed wife in the members’ area and only let her go long enough to say: “How was that? He was outstanding today. We picked this race out four months ago, and said this is what we are going to target because he has gotten better as he matured.
“He finishes his races off so well now, he just doesn’t know how to lay down, and he just attacks the line so hard.”
The 5-year-old gelding immediately received an invitation to Hong Kong for the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races in December. Domestically, the connections of All Silent have the big summer carnival in Perth in December and January to contemplate as well. There are two races each worth $1 million, but Begg is leaning toward a break for All Silent.
“I want him at his best for the Sydney autumn next year, so we will probably bypass these upcoming races,” the trainer said.
Begg isn’t a trainer who gets many group I winners; in fact, his last one was nine years ago—on the same day in the Emirates. “I think I’ve had seven group I second-place (finishes) since then, but clearly this race is one of my favorites,” he said.
All Silent, whose half-sister, Private Steer, was a three-times group I winner in Australia, beat the ultra-consistent Sea Battle by 3 1/2 lengths. The tough mare Mimi Lebrock was third, while favored Bank Robber, ridden by Melbourne Cup (Aus-I)-winning jockey Blake Shinn, was fourth.
“I have no doubt if he had drawn a barrier, he might have made the winner stretch a little bit more,” said Michael Rodd, rider of Sea Battle.
Said Craig Williams, who rode Mimi Lebrock: “She is game and tough and ran a great race. It was a pleasure to be on a horse like this.”
All Silent, who also won on the first day of the carnival, was the only horse to win two races during the event. He took his stakes earnings to $1,045,000 from just 11 starts, five of them wins. He ran the mile in 1.35.48 on track rated “dead.”